Congress Holds Key to Creating Green Jobs
Hundreds of thousands of jobs would be created if the U.S. would institute a renewable electricity standard (RES) to mandate creating 25 percent of its power from renewable sources, according to a new report.
The report from RES Alliance, a group of renewable energy companies, says the creation of a federal RES could create 274,000 new jobs by 2025, and most of those would be high-value manufacturing jobs that could increase US exports. Every state would benefit, the study says; Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, California, Tennessee, Texas and Colorado would be expected to see the biggest jump in new jobs. Meanwhile, if a federal RES is not passed, the study says, jobs nationwide will be lost as clean energy investors start to shy away.
But so far, Congress hasn’t been talking about instituting a 25 percent RES: the House-passed energy bill requires just 20 percent of electricity to come from renewables by 2020 (and 5 percent could come from efficiency measures rather than new renewable capacity). That bill would also let governors petition for a lower percentage of renewables for their state. Meanwhile, the current Senate bill sets the bar at just 15 percent of electricity coming from renewables by 2021.
A strong RES is the key to our global competitiveness, the report says. Right now, this country is falling behind both the European Union and China in their renewable energy targets. Without decisive action and federal commitment, these jobs will migrate over to those countries and out of ours.
– Suzanne Bopp